Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

Date:
ca. 1400
Geography:
Made in Nuremberg
Culture:
German
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall: 13 1/8 x 13 3/8 x 4 3/4 in., 11.764lb. (33.3 x 34 x 12.1 cm, 5336g)
Overall PD: 12 9/16 x 4 5/8 x 12 1/2 in. (31.9 x 11.8 x 31.8 cm)
Thickness PD: 3/50-7/50 in. (0.16-0.35 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.244
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
This elaborate water vessel was intended for handwashing. A specialty of metalworkers in German-speaking lands for centuries—from the twelfth to the fifteenth—they are called aquamanilia, from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus).

Broad-chested, mane protruding, and mouth open, the lion is unabashedly proud and alert. To create this exceptional king of the beasts, the artist first made a rough clay model and then molded wax around it. Next he coated the wax with a mixture of brick, clay, and ashes before melting the wax to form a space that could be filled with molten metal.
Gross, London ; Sotheby's, London British (July 7, 1994, lot 16)
New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages. Vessels for Church and Table," July 12, 2006–October 15, 2006.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013.

Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8, 2013–May 9, 2013.

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